Europe’s largest freshwater aquarium to open in Lausanne

Jul 6, 2017

"Aquatis" should be ready to receive its visitors by the end of this summer. A dive into the waters of five continents, also creating a public awareness for the challenges faced by this precious resources.

As of the end of the summer, Aquatis Aquarium-Vivarium should be able to welcome its first visitors in Lausanne-Vennes. It will be the largest freshwater aquarium in Europe on a surface of 3,500 m2. Some 50 individual aquariums, vivariums, and terrariums will accommodate close to 10,000 fish and reptile species. Thanks to innovative technological features, the animals can be observed in an interactive and immersive environment. The aquatic fauna and flora of five continents will be presented on two floors. On the first floor, the visitors travel in time and space along the Rhone river, from its glacial origins to its mediterranean delta. The second floor invites to take a trip to the other continents, from the large African lakes with their crocodiles and colorful fish to the Amazon, where arapaimas and piranhas abound, or the Mississippi with its alligator gars. The voyage also leads through the Asian mangroves and rice-and-fish cultures, all the way to Oceania and the Australian Pioneer River which flows into the Great Barrier Reef.

Aquatis has been designed to be a cultural center as well as a museum, offering entertainment and encounters between the general public and the world of science. Another important aspect is the topic of prevention, since the idea is also to educate the visitors about environmental and water-related issues. The building itself has been constructed with particular care in order to function in a most efficient way: rain waters are collected, and the heating and cooling systems are sustainably sourced. Its renowned Richter & Dahl Rocha architects designed it to blend in perfectly with its surroundings. The facade is covered with 100,000 aluminium discs which reflect the color of the sky. With a bit of imagination, one can see them as dancing waves or even fish scales.

Aquatis can be reached easily, as it is situated close to a highway exit, the M2 metro, and one hour from the Geneva International airport. The center offers 1,200 parking spaces, available since 2010, and a 3 star superior hotel with 143 rooms and conference halls, opened in 2015, is linked to it as well.

With 1,000 expected visitors per day, Aquatis might well become one of the must-sees of the region, next to the Olympic museum and Chaplin’s World.

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